Technology cheap solar and great video link

Discussion in 'Technology' started by oddtodd, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. oddtodd

    oddtodd Premium Member

    Scientific American Frontiers | PBS Programs | PBS

    This should get you to Scientific American Frontiers , the Pbs show hosted by Alan Alda .

    Look thru the whole online viewing library , there are hours and hours of science , natureand technology vidieos free of charge !

    Watch this hydrogen trio of shows . especially #3 that shows a thoughtful inventer that can churn out 6 solar sheets that are each a mile and a half long ! They use weak light more efficiently and although not as good as silicon in direct light , they still put out more in the end , even on rainy days it claims .

    A very inspiring segment and gives more hope to cleaning up mother earth one day .....
  2. bodebliss

    bodebliss The Zoc-La of Kromm-B Premium Member

    It could be used to make fuels on another planet, or at home for your hydrogen car, or clean the air of your house, or a space colony.

    The wave of the future.
  3. overrocked

    overrocked Premium Member

    Great, I will check it out. I have been experimenting with a couple golf cart batteries and two small solar panels. If we could just get more of an incentive to go solar we could really get away from 'now we're cooking with gas' A microwave oven really sucks up a lot of power- but only needed usually for a short time. Thanks for the site:brkdnc:
  4. oddtodd

    oddtodd Premium Member

    The panels in the video are shown covering MAJOR square miles of industrrial roofs and fields . The inventor wants to bring the cost of the electricity they produce down to that of coal.

    I wonder why I have only just heard about this.....( No I don't , but that post belongs at ATS)
  5. oddtodd

    oddtodd Premium Member

    the inventors original premise was to create a hydrogen "loop" in fact !

    Use the big gasbag in the sky and the hydrogen it burns to power electrolosys systems here on terra firma.

    Good call ...
  6. overrocked

    overrocked Premium Member

    And here is the storage solution-

    The beauty of bendable batteries

    Vastly thinner, lighter power sources are destined to make all our electric dreams come true, writes Alok Jha

    Thursday February 24, 2005
    The Guardian

    Just over 10 years ago, Donald Sadoway went for a drive in his first electric car. It was an early, clunky design but the experience changed his world - ever since he has dedicated himself to doing his part in making electric cars a commercial reality.
    "For personal transportation, it's lunacy that we don't have electric vehicles," says Sadoway, a professor of materials science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "It's crazy to be burning carbon to move around short distances. For congested urban environments, the future is now. The only thing that's missing is a viable battery."

    Our increasingly mobile world depends on the ability to store and move energy around with us in the form of batteries (there's no point in a top-of-the-range laptop if it needs a cell that costs more than a space station and is the size of Texas). But lack of academic and commercial interest in the field, and the concentration of what effort there is on developing fuel cells and hydrogen cars, means innovation has hit a wall.

    Which is why Sadoway is getting excited about crisp packets. Smoothing one out in front of him, he describes how the thin sandwich of metal and plastic is set to be the unwitting battering ram to that technological brick wall. His remarkable idea is a battery which is as thin as a crisp packet and is as cheap, well, as the crisps in them.

    The Slimcell, as Sadoway calls his invention, is a sandwich of lithium and a special type of Perspex. Because it is so light, it solves the problem that has kept batteries out of the running for electric cars: it can store a huge amount of energy per kilogram.

    Batteries work because chemical reactions inside them force electrons to collect at one of the two electrodes. Connect an appliance and the electrons travel through it to the other electrode, making an electrical circuit.

    A traditional lead acid battery (where one electrode is made of lead, the other of lead dioxide and sulphuric acid floats between the two) has a capacity of 35 watt hours per kilogram (Wh/kg). The nickel metal hydride batteries that became available in the early 1990s, and enabled laptop computing, are about 90Wh/kg. Newer lithium ion batteries, used in mobile phones and today's laptops, are 125 Wh/kg.

    "At 125Wh/kg, you can drive a car 125 miles on a single charge - that's not good enough," says Sadoway. "You need to go about 250 miles on a single charge before it's going to have widespread appeal. So you need a battery that's about 250Wh/kg. We've got batteries in my lab right now that are 300Wh/kg and I can see the possibility of breaking 400Wh/kg."

    The Slimcell gets these big energy densities by ditching weight. Sadoway could take little off the electrodes in a lithium ion battery, because the metal is so light. Instead, he focused on a component that was crucial but which didn't contribute to the storage capacity, the liquid electrolyte.

    "An ideal battery is maximally electrode and minimally everything else," says Sadoway. "The electrolyte doesn't contribute to storage capacity at all but you have to have it. What you would like is the thinnest electrolyte."

    Working with MIT colleague Anne Mayes, Sadoway set out to ditch the liquid. "The only way we were going to break the 200Wh/kg, I reasoned, was to ask was it possible to invent a solid polymer electrolyte that had the mechanical properties of a solid and the electrical properties of a liquid," says Sadoway. Many blind avenues later, his team had found his wonder material and rethought battery design.

    "There are various companies that claim to have variants of a solid separator but, to the best of my knowledge, these companies are all relying upon infusing some kind of polymer host with something that's an organic liquid," says Sadoway.

    The Slimcell's sandwich of metal electrodes and plastic electrolyte not only means it is light and easy to make, it also makes it much safer. Because there is no liquid, the battery can't leak. If it is somehow punctured in one part, the rest of the battery can carry on working regardless.

    Sadoway and Mayes's team have been steadily improving their polymer electrolyte: by developing a way to evaporate the material on to the lithium electrodes, they have made it as thin (and light) as physically possible. The next step is industrial-scale manufacture, something that has yet to be worked out. Sadoway reckons that the Slimcell is at least five years from being commercially available.

    Remarkable as the battery is, the MIT team behind it see problems in finding a market, mainly due to resistance from battery manufacturers. In the mid 1990s, just as a lot of companies had invested heavily in NiMH batteries, the more advanced lithium ion batteries came out of nowhere. Instead of embracing lithium ion, many producers tried to slow its introduction.

    "Until the late Nineties, you could buy laptops fitted with NiMH batteries and lithium ion was an option, even though it gave superior performance, because they were saying, 'we need to sell as many NiMH batteries as we can to try to pay back the capital costs of building these darn plants'," says Sadoway.

    "People would like better batteries but they are wary of making investments. What is required is both a technology push and a market pull. Right now there are cellphone batteries and the cellphone manufacturers are comfortable with them."

    It will take a specialised niche, then, to make the Slimcell viable. Sadoway says that whoever develops it commercially needs to find applications for which dedicated batteries don't yet exist - medical devices, for example.

    "In a wristwatch, imagine the battery is in the strap and there's a medical sensor in there connected to the internet," he says. "If someone is monitoring that, they could phone up if the user has forgotten to take some medication. This could save hundreds of dollars in medical fees later. What's missing? It's a stable battery."

    The Slimcell's big advantage is its versatility. "You can do something with this you can't do with any other battery - fold it up, make it conform to the shape," says Sadoway. "You can put the battery not in a compartment but behind the screen of a computer, or in the fender of a car, so you can have distributed power. You don't have it in one big block." After these applications, Sadoway's dream of powering electric cars will be a step closer. Which is quite a feat for something that is, basically, just like a crisp packet.
  7. oddtodd

    oddtodd Premium Member

    I helped build an electric car at automotive school about 7 years ago , it is still going strong . My professor paid for the shell ov an old VW Rabbit and a grant paid for the kit , so the school let him keep it for his 60 mile round dtrip to and from school .

    The interesting thing is that he charges it off his solar panels at home . He cant do it directly as the power is made in the panels , enters the grid as a "credit" to his account , and he then uses the "credit" of AC KWH (alternating current , killowatt hours) .

    The benefiets of using your home solar panels to provide transportation are many : First you help clean the environment by not polluting your "fair share" of it .

    Secondly you save on the ungodly gas prices at the pump and pay about 4 cents a mile in electricity (if you were not making your own that is) .

    And third : All the $$ not spent on gas is a direct dedudtion from the cost of a home solar system that takes 5-7 years to start generating FREE electricity with normal house use . He figures he broke even in year 3 and since then he has "saved" his entire yearly electric bill as well as all his commuter feul .

    A very efficient use of technologies that compliment each other and super thrifty if you make sure you use ALL the electricity you produce .

    There are no "rollover" minutes with electricity , at the end of the year your surplus is taken by the utility company as compensation for you using thier system for power storage , and you start at zero the following year .

    Since you are not allowed to sell any of your generated power back to the utility company(at this point) , it makes sense to use it all yourself .

    This is the main reason that (if you are considering) a home solar system should be tailored to the EXACT needs of your home , no reason to make too much that you lose to big brother at the end of the year , you will take longer to break even . Using his electricity for his auto knocks about 7 dollars a day off his gasoline costs !

    5 days of school X 36 weeks X 7 dollars = $ 1260 a year ! So he has already NOT spent at least 7K in gas , as well as powered his home .

    I will try and find a link to his car and system , but feel free to ask any questions you may have !